So yesterday, the Lakers are playing San Antonio, and Kobe gets a fowl. He argues with the ref (yeah that always works) and gets a technical. Nothing left to do now but storm over to his team’s bench, throw a little tantrum, and yell at Bennie Adams, the ref – “Bennie! …f*cking f*ggot!” Pretty normal professional athlete behavior, really. Only problem was, the HD TV cameras caught the mouth motions, if not the words themselves, and beamed them live into millions of tender, innocent living rooms across the nation:
Then today Kobe gets slapped with a $100,000 fine, leading to an incredibly polarized debate. It seems that half his fans think that he’s a victim of the PC police and that professional sports are becoming nanny-states with their morality rules and multitude of fines. The other half think that there’s no excuse for using a homophobic slur (or any slur) and he should be punished more; made to apologize again, but ‘more convincingly’ (he already did today, but said that he didn’t mean any offense), be suspended, or even cost the Lakers their playoff bid. I think the right answer lies somewhere in between.
However, personally, I was shocked by something entirely different. While reading about this incident, I stumbled upon an article that reminded me that Kobe makes an average of $302,515 per regular-season game. Even after giving $100,000 of it back for his verbal indulgence, he still took home more in four hours than the average American family makes in four years.
When you’ve got this much money and fame, rules and laws simply don’t matter to you. You could get away with anything, even rape! (Oh wait…)